Lois Ellen Frank
As humans, we enjoy a vaunted position at the very top of the food chain. Sure, a lion might come out of nowhere and maul us, but where our natural defenses might fail us, we’ve more than made up for it by inventing guns, bows and arrows, and the like. So if we can eat literally any animal we want to, why do we settle for pigs, cows, and chickens? We should be branching out, unleashing our wild sides, and sampling some more exotic meats on occasion. These are the best restaurants in America for eating wild game.
We tend to stick with beef, pork, and chicken because they’re what we’re used to, and they’re the most accessible. We’ll eat veal or maybe even venison once in a blue moon, and we all probably ate an ostrich burger that one time at Fuddrucker’s, or maybe a buffalo burger somewhere along the line, but never gave game meat much thought. And that’s a tragedy, because there are lots of delicious animals out there, and it’s our right as carnivores to eat as many of them as we can.
Obviously, some animals taste better than others. You won’t see us grilling up a muskrat any time soon. But there are plenty of companies that sell game meats like venison, wild boar, rabbit, game birds, and buffalo of incredibly high quality, like D’Artagnan, and companies like Marx Foods that ship meats including kangaroo, elk, alligator, ostrich, antelope, yak, frog, llama, turtle, and camel.
Many exotic meats like alligator and ostrich are incredibly lean; however, meaning that it might not be a great idea to toss a slab of ostrich meat in a frying pan at home and expect it to cook up juicy and succulent. That’s why we advise leaving it up to the professionals.
We sorted through dozens of restaurants that serve wild game, and rounded up America’s 10 best. In ranking our restaurants, we primarily looked for restaurants that serve the widest variety of animals, but also took into account local renown, atmosphere, and obviously, whether the meat is cooked properly or not.
While you’d be hard-pressed to find a restaurant that’s serving a turtle steak (we hear they don’t taste very good), many chefs are thinking outside of the box and trying their hand at exotic meats. Some of the restaurants on our list have been around for ages, grilling huge slabs of game meat for Colorado cowboys. Others are newer,helmed by chefs looking to showcase more than chicken breast. So click here to read all about the 10 best restaurants in America for meat eaters.
Dan Myers is the Eat/Dine Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @sirmyers. Additional reporting by Kate Mason.